Indiana Cops Look for Suspects in Ameristar Casino Garage Shooting

Posted on: July 23, 2021, 09:41h. 

Last updated on: July 23, 2021, 11:24h.

A 26-year-old man remained hospitalized Friday after getting shot multiple times at East Chicago, Ind.’s Ameristar Casino parking garage, local police said. It is the latest deadly crime to take place in gaming property garages nationwide.

Police were looking for witnesses
The entrance to the Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, Ind., pictured above. The casino’s parking garage was the site of a shooting Thursday. (Image: The Times of Northwest Indiana)

The East Chicago victim was identified by police as Kwamaine D. Tarver of Tinley Park, Ill. He was wounded at about 1:30 am Thursday on the garage’s second floor.

He was listed in serious condition as of Friday. He initially underwent treatment at St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago. Later, he was transported to the University of Chicago Medical Center for more complex treatment.

No arrests had been made in the case as of early Friday. “This case is still under investigation and no further details will be released at this time,” the East Chicago Police Department said in a Facebook post.

East Chicago police continued to investigate the shooting on Friday. It is believed they were searching for and analyzing possible evidence. They were also looking for witnesses. Some passersby apparently heard shots fired in the garage. Police could also review photos and video taken by the casino’s surveillance cameras.

The casino is located in East Chicago, which is a small city 24 miles southeast of Chicago.

Prior Casino Parking Garage Shootings

The East Chicago shooting was the latest violent incident taking place in casino parking garages over the past year, according to a report from

For instance, in March, Detroit’s Motor City Casino parking garage was the scene of a fatal shooting of a 25-year-old man. In February, two men needed hospitalization after getting stabbed several times in a parking garage at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nev.

Also, two bandits attacked an elderly man last Christmas Day in a Las Vegas gaming property parking garage before stealing his wallet. The victim of the assault at Sam’s Town Hotel & Gambling Hall was believed to be in his 90s, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

In October, Palm Springs, Calif. police officers shot two robbery suspects as they tried to speed away from a parking garage at Agua Caliente Casino. One had just allegedly robbed a woman at gunpoint.

The October incident followed a September shooting at a parking garage at the same gaming property. The earlier violent attack at the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’-owned casino was investigated as an attempted homicide.

Last August, a fatal shooting took place at an Emerald Queen Casino garage in Tacoma, Wash. In July, another fatal shooting occurred at Winner’s Way parking garage in Florida’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Hollywood.

Casino Garages Vulnerable Site for Crime

When interviewed in 2020, Brad Bonnell, a principal of the Hotel Security Group, told that these incidents are not a surprise, given casino parking garages’ isolation and how they provide criminals anonymity.

Predators know that casino-hotel garages … [have] well-funded tourists,” he said.

Bonnell is a former vice president of loss prevention for Extended Stay America, and ex-global director of security for InterContinental Hotels. Earlier, he was chief of staff for the Georgia State Patrol and an agent for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

He adds that a garage’s design can make a property more inviting for criminals. Many garages are enclosed, have multiple levels, and sloping ramps, Bonnell said. They have stairwells and elevators, he added.